HAMPTON, Va. — One Hampton business is saying goodbye, 60 years after opening its doors.
Beach Hardware's last day is January 31st. The family-owned business said everything must go.
The store has been a fixture in the Hampton community since September 2nd, 1958.
Bill Mitchell is now the owner after taking over the business from his father, Roy who started the business.
“It's hard,” Mitchell said. “I grew up here came down here when I was small.”
Mitchell said his earliest memories of the store are of him riding his tricycle up and down the aisles.
“We have customers who come in and still have marks on their ankles when I ran into them,” Mitchell laughed.
Mitchell worked the cash register as a young boy. He was part-time at 16, full-time at 20. Now that the business is over more than 40 years later, he said it's bittersweet.
Mitchell said over the last several years he's seen traffic and sales go down.
“You try everything to save it and you can't it hurts,” Mitchell said.
He said there are other reasons. He believes the city focuses their attention on specific areas, like Peninsula Town Center, leaving small businesses to figure out how to survive.
“They focus everything on the center of the city and when they push retail there the outskirts start to die,” Mitchell said.
Now everything must go, and if you need it, they probably have it. They're holding an auction Saturday, January 26th to hopefully get rid of everything.
“The hugs, tears, stories, people saying bye has been amazing,” he said.
Mitchell said the reason he stuck around this long was because of the customers.
“The passion comes from them leaving with a smile on their face,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said despite everything, he wouldn't change a thing, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Beach Hardware is located at 1951 E Pembroke Ave, Hampton, VA 23663. The auction is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.